("Puleeaaze…You mean the dweeb in the alligator shirt? Yeah, I’ll fight him next.")
UFC.com inadvertently stole Dana White’s thunder this afternoon by announcing that Junior Dos Santos and Brock Lesnar will be the coaches on next season of The Ultimate Fighter before the UFC president could make the announcement during Tuesday’s conference call for the January 22 Fight for the Troops event.
White shot down media members during the Q&A who asked if he would name the TUF 13 team heads, explaining more than once that he would be announcing who the coaches would be at the end of the call, but was upstaged by his company’s website who posted the press release 15 minutes before he could break the news.
According to the release, the pair of heavyweights will meet at the end of the season and the winner will face champion Cain Velasquez when he returns from a shoulder injury in an estimated six months.
White, who admitted during the call that he had lied to reporters when he told them that he had not spoken to Lesnar since his loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October also quashed rumors that the bout will be for the interim heavyweight title.
The full release is after the jump.
"UFC President Dana White announced today that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and number one contender Junior dos Santos will match wits as the coaches of season 13 of the hit Spike TV reality series.
Following the season, which begins filming this month and begins airing on March 30, Lesnar and dos Santos will then match fists in the Octagon later in 2011.
This will be the first time either fighter has appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, which began airing on Spike in 2005. The last time heavyweights coached the show was during season eight in 2008, when dos Santos’ mentor, “Minotauro” Nogueira, faced off against former champion Frank Mir. This season, the two will coach a host of welterweight hopefuls looking to secure a UFC contract.
One of the biggest success stories of recent years, Brock Lesnar’s rise to the top of the UFC has been well-documented. A former NCAA Division I wrestling champion for the University of Minnesota, Lesnar brought size, speed, and power to the Octagon in 2008, and in only his fourth professional fight, he defeated Randy Couture for the heavyweight crown. After successful defenses against Mir and Shane Carwin, Lesnar lost his belt to Velasquez at UFC 121 last October. Determined to get his championship back, Lesnar knows the quickest way to do so is through dos Santos.
Unheralded Brazilian prospect Junior dos Santos turned into a contender overnight in 2008 when he knocked out highly-regarded veteran Fabricio Werdum in the first round. This spectacular debut was followed by finishes of Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop, Gilbert Yvel, and Gabriel Gonzaga before earning a shot at the heavyweight title with a three round win over Roy Nelson. Yet instead of choosing to wait for Velasquez to return to action, dos Santos will risk his number one contender’s spot by coaching against – and then fighting – Lesnar later this year."